Madrasa-Midrasha | Active Art

Wednesday, November 10th 2021, 12:00pm
Online Event, 2400 Ridge Rd Berkeley, CA 94709

Join us for this special event co-sponsored by the Madrasa-Midrasha Program and the Center for the Arts and Religion (CARe) at the GTU, which will feature presentations by Liat Berdugo (University of San Francisco) and Pantea Karimi (Santa Clara University).

Register Here for the Zoom Webinar.

Liat Berdugo's talk is titled "The Weaponized Camera in Israel-Palestine" and draws on unprecedented access to the citizen-recorded video archives of B'Tselem, an Israeli NGO that distributes cameras to Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, to offer a contribution to the discourse of human rights work through the documentary form of imagemaking.

Pantea Karimi's talk is titled "Artful Attacks" and focuses on her recent works appropriating the geometric patterns from the Topkapi scroll which highlights the impact of “maximum pressure” targeting Iran, and the ongoing threats to its historic sites and cultural identity.

The discussion will be moderated by Carol Bier, a historian of Islamic Art and Research Scholar at the GTU's Center for Islamic Studies.

Liat Berdugo is an artist and writer whose work investigates embodiment, labor, and militarization in relation to capitalism, technological utopianism, and the Middle East. Her work has been exhibited and screened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), MoMA PS1 (New York), Transmediale (Berlin), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), and The Wrong Biennale (online), among others. Her writing appears in Rhizome, Temporary Art Review, Real Life, Places, and The Institute for Network Cultures, among others, and her latest book is The Weaponized Camera in the Middle East (Bloomsbury/I.B.Tauris, 2021). She is one half of the art collective, Anxious to Make, and is the co-founder of the Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly new media art series. Berdugo received an MFA from RISD and a BA from Brown University. She is currently an associate professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco. Berdugo lives and works in Oakland, CA. More at

Pantea Karimi is a multidisciplinary artist investigating the intersection of art, science, and history through medieval Persian, Arab and early modern European scientific manuscripts.  In her art, she combines visual and conceptual interpretations from her research with contemporary issues and her life’s narratives. She creates two-dimensional works and interactive installations using a variety of materials and media. Karimi has exhibited internationally across a range of solo, group, and traveling exhibitions in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Croatia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She is the recipient of the 2022 Mass MoCA the Studios Residency Award, the 2021 University of California San Francisco Library Artist in Residence Award, the 2020 San Jose Holding the Moment Art Award, the 2019 City of San Jose Arts and Cultural Exchange Grant, and the 2019 Silicon Valley Artist Laureates Award among others. Pantea Karimi holds two master’s degrees in graphic design and fine arts and currently teaches in the department of Digital Media at the Santa Clara University. Karimi lives in San Jose, CA. More about her work at

Carol Bier, a historian of Islamic Art, studies patterns as intersections of art and mathematics. As Research Scholar at the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, she has published widely on cultural aspects of geometry in Islamic art that inform a beauty of form, pattern and structure. She is concurrently Research Associate at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC (2001-present), where she served as Curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections (1984-2001).


This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Religion (CARe).

We would like to thank the Walter & Elise Haas Fund for the generous support of the Madrasa-Midrasha Program at the GTU.

This event is online only